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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 08:11 AM
Feel free to chime in here about any of the (non-Twins) 2020 MLB postseason games!
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Target Field Tax Status

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:11 AM
Been reading about all the losses (alleged or not) that MLB has (and maybe will again) taken with the pandemic, and wondered how the tax...
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Not to add more doom and gloom

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:31 AM
This is interesting and sort of concerning. Article snippet comes from the incomparable Jayson Stark of The Athletic (Which is must read...
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MLB Sees Local TV And Streaming Viewership Up Over 4% For...

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:25 PM
Twins local viewership up 9%.   Link to the article at Forbes:   https://www.forbes.c...0/#36bd03b33dac
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Nelson Cruz wants 2 years

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:16 PM
https://www.mlbtrade...-year-deal.html
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Recent Blogs


The Twins Are Making Other Teams Do All The Work

Yes, you read that title correctly. There are major league teams out there who are *willingly* doing work for the Twins and they don’t even know it! Can you believe this? Well, you probably don’t actually and even I, the person who did the research, am somewhat skeptical. Rest assured, there are no fibs here.
Image courtesy of © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
I got into a Twitter argument the other day about the Twins. Typically this is far from a notable event but for the first time in the recorded history of the internet, I actually reflected on what was said in the conversation.

For context, here’s what I tweeted:



I really just wanted to dunk on Cleveland for the laffs because, well, it’s just so damn fun to do that. Some people however commented that the reverse could be true for both teams when it comes to pitching, thus supplying the rain for my parade. Of course, Cleveland can just magically make incredible starting pitchers appear out of thin air while people have been bitching about the Twins’ pitching development since the dawn of man.

The Twins have actually had a top three starting rotation by fWAR for two straight years now. The fact that people still find some way to be grumpy about that will never make sense to me. Anyways, I pondered this for a bit and soon realized that no one is actually correct. The Twins are actively avoiding using prospects in the starting rotation and they’re getting away with it.

You don’t need a bunch of stats to tell you that starting pitching is crucial in baseball. Numerous scouts and executives have dedicated their entire lives to developing starting pitching because it’s just *that* important, especially in the postseason. The issue is that young starting pitchers are notoriously volatile when it comes to both performance and injury. Some of you may have heard of the term “TINSTAAPP” which stands for “there is no such thing as a pitching prospect”. Usually this is said after a young fireballer goes down with a forearm strain and meets with Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Patience is key when it comes to these arms but competing teams don’t have the time needed to keep running these lotto tickets out on the mound. They need another option.

The Twins understand this and have acted accordingly.

Quick question; which two starting pitchers for the Twins in the Falvey and Levine era have both:
  • Been solely drafted and developed by the Twins
  • Thrown more than 60 innings in a season
Thinking hard? Alright, I’ll cut you some slack. The two pitchers over the last four years are Kyle Gibson and José Berríos. That’s it. Gibson was also already an established MLB veteran when the new guys took over. Berríos is the only homegrown starter to newly entrench himself into the Twins starting rotation.

The team has decided to make a number of established veterans the meat of their starting rotation. Players like Ervin Santana, Jake Odorizzi, Lance Lynn, Michael Pineda, Kenta Maeda and so on have been the main workhorses since 2017 (to varying degrees of success).

This is effective for two main reasons; the first of which is that, well, veteran talent is always going to be a safer bet than unproven arms. You can argue about the “upside” that certain young arms provide in the long run but a bona fide grizzled veteran provides the kind of 401K peace of mind that a 23-year-old can’t. The second perk is that you don’t have to shove a young arm into an uncomfortable situation unnecessarily. Some starters like Ian Anderson on the Braves have been able to flourish immediately but these are rare exceptions.

Having a balanced mix of talent acquisitions in the starting rotation has been a plan that other contenders have executed to success as well. Here’s a breakdown of the last three World Series winners and how they netted their top three starters:

(Starters are ranked by innings pitched that season)

2019 Nationals:
  • Stephen Strasburg - Drafted
  • Max Scherzer - Free Agency
  • Patrick Corbin - Free Agency
2018 Red Sox:
  • Rick Porcello - Trade
  • David Price - Free Agency
  • Chris Sale - Trade
2017 Astros*:
  • Mike Fiers (awkward) - Trade
  • Charlie Morton - Free Agency
  • Dallas Keuchel - Drafted
Just two starters among these pitchers were drafted and developed solely by the respective franchise they won with. Everyone else was obtained in free agency or through a trade. This doesn’t even include the famous Justin Verlander trade the Astros made to push them over the top in 2017.

Sure, maybe the Twins can’t shed the idea that they can’t develop starting pitching. But they don’t really need to. They’ve decided instead to focus on making safe bets on veteran starters and improving internally only when the situation calls for it. They have made other teams expend the energy needed to weed out successful pitchers and then they plunder who they want. It’s a proven system of success and the team has no reason to abandon this plan for the immediate future.

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15 Comments

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Channing1964
Oct 16 2020 12:59 AM
i with hold judgment until i see what kind of influence Falvey can have on getting Trevor Bauer for one great run
    • glunn likes this
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Channing1964
Oct 16 2020 01:00 AM
or More than one

Am also interested how it will play out when Duran and the other starter arrive in the next two years.Or this year as the need may be. 

    • glunn and Channing1964 like this

Let's move to another side of the argument - the Twins don't know how to draft pitching talent.Our number one arm prospect - Duran - also came as a trade.So what does Cleveland know about drafting and developing pitching talent?I would be fine having a home grown rotation.  

    • glunn, Channing1964 and Doctor Gast like this

 

Let's move to another side of the argument - the Twins don't know how to draft pitching talent.Our number one arm prospect - Duran - also came as a trade.So what does Cleveland know about drafting and developing pitching talent?I would be fine having a home grown rotation.  

I think the next 2 years will tell us if this FO is making strides on the pitching development side of things. All of the Cleveland big name draft and develop pitchers were developed while Falvey was there running their pitching development program. The Twins are at the point where guys he's had a say in developing are reaching the majors. I don't particularly care how, or when, a prospect got into the Twins' system. I just care about how they develop them and whether or not they can turn them into legitimate major league arms. 

 

If Balazovic, Duran, Enlow, Canterino, Colina, Sands, Chalmers, Vallimont, Winder, etc. start showing up in varying roles and succeeding to varying degrees (hopefully a couple succeed at top levels) I will feel comfortable that the FO is recognizing, acquiring, and developing pitching talent. If they all show up and flop or don't show up at all I will be quite concerned. Falvine has had 3 years to set up their pitching program and now is when we need to start seeing the results. The arrivals in 2021 and 2022 (lost minor league season gives them a little extra time in my mind, otherwise 2021 was the year I was looking at for real results) will be the real test.

    • glunn, beckmt, Danchat and 3 others like this
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Doctor Gast
Oct 16 2020 07:31 AM

 

Let's move to another side of the argument - the Twins don't know how to draft pitching talent.Our number one arm prospect - Duran - also came as a trade.So what does Cleveland know about drafting and developing pitching talent?I would be fine having a home grown rotation.  

I`d love to have an ace factory like CLE & LAD. They seem to have an eye & development for great pitchers. Twins don`t put value on high pitching prospects because they`re afraid to, like what was said they feel secure w/ grizzled veterans for a year or 2.  

I don`t agree w/ “TINSTAAPP” all prospect get hurt, have set backs & some never achieve their expectations although a pitching prospect needs more patience & confidence but in the long run it`s worth it when they come to fruition

    • glunn and mikelink45 like this

This season looks different so far. All 5 Dodgers SP are homegrown. With Hamels out, all 4 Atlanta SP as well. With Verlander out, Houston has 4 and Greinke. Tampa is 2/2.

 

In other trivia, the Padres starting lineup had no drafted position players.

 

 

    • glunn and mikelink45 like this

 

This season looks different so far. All 5 Dodgers SP are homegrown. With Hamels out, all 4 Atlanta SP as well. With Verlander out, Houston has 4 and Greinke. Tampa is 2/2.

 

In other trivia, the Padres starting lineup had no drafted position players.

And yet most people act like free agency is the answer to all of a teams problems.

 

Like most things in life, it's about finding the right balance of each method of acquisition.

    • mikelink45 likes this

Sure, maybe the Twins can’t shed the idea that they can’t develop starting pitching. But they don’t really need to. They’ve decided instead to focus on making safe bets on veteran starters and improving internally only when the situation calls for it. They have made other teams expend the energy needed to weed out successful pitchers and then they plunder who they want. It’s a proven system of success and the team has no reason to abandon this plan for the immediate future.

 

This last paragraph says a lot. Yes the Twins have had success doing this. The most notable is Jack Morris taking the bull by the horns and winning Game 7 in 1991. Since then the success has fallen short, so is it really THAT successful?

 

The biggest problem I see is that the Twins won't go the extra mile to sign the ACE they need to win a playoff game. Course, when you have to throw a shutout to win because your offense disappears like Harry Houdini maybe it's a moot point.

    • mikelink45 and Original_JB like this
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Major League Ready
Oct 16 2020 12:41 PM

If you are looking to provide proof of which acquisitions are the most impactful, looking at the top 3 in terms of inning pitched is not a great data set. I took a look at the acquisition method for the top 20 SPs by war for the last three years. I separated the acquisition method as follows.

 

Drafted
Trade while still a prospect 
Free Agents
Trades for established SPS

 

2019
4-Trade while still a prospect
7-Drafted(1 international)
6-Free Agents - Including 1 from Japan & 1 from Korea)
3-Trades for established SPS

 

2018
8-Trade while still a prospect
8-Drafted(1 international)
2-Free Agents - One came from Japan
2-Trades for established SPS

 

2017
2-Trade while still a prospect
11-Drafted
4-Free Agents - Including 1 from Japan & 1 from Korea)
3-Trades for established SPS

 

Total 2017-19
14 (23%) - Trade while still a prospect
26 (43%) - Drafted
13 (22%) - Free Agents - Including 1 from Japan & 1 from Korea)
08 (13%) - Trades for established SPS

 

66% were drafted or acquired by trade before they became established. Traded before becoming established is defined as acquired with with no MLB experience or never having a year with over 1 WAR.

 

Let's move to another side of the argument - the Twins don't know how to draft pitching talent.Our number one arm prospect - Duran - also came as a trade.So what does Cleveland know about drafting and developing pitching talent?I would be fine having a home grown rotation.  

Well, Kluber, Bauer, Clevinger, and Carrasco also came from other organizations. I think they just know how to identify and fix starters earlier than most other teams do. 

    • glunn, Danchat, mikelink45 and 1 other like this

 

This season looks different so far. All 5 Dodgers SP are homegrown. With Hamels out, all 4 Atlanta SP as well. With Verlander out, Houston has 4 and Greinke. Tampa is 2/2.

 

In other trivia, the Padres starting lineup had no drafted position players.

Tampa Bay fits in well with this idea. They drafted Snell but signed Morton and identified Glasnow as a guy who needed adjustments. Pretty balanced method there.

    • glunn and Danchat like this
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Nine of twelve
Oct 16 2020 05:58 PM

It really doesn't matter whether a pitcher or any other player was drafted, traded for, or signed as a free agent. What matters is what that player cost the organization. It all comes down to scouting, player development, and field management. An organization must know how to acquire players by whatever means at a favorable cost and get the most out of the players in the organization. If those things are done well success is assured.

    • glunn, beckmt, mikelink45 and 1 other like this
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Original_JB
Oct 17 2020 06:52 AM

One could also argue that that methodology limits the quality of the arm you will get.Teams aren't going to give up their best arms, and the Twins aren't likely to outpay anyone for them either. So really, you're getting other team's B- to C- guys that they have replacements for and you hope to fix-up a bit.Steady, but not spectacular performance.Makes for consistent regular season performance, but not quite enough to win in the payoffs.Sound familiar?

    • mikelink45 likes this
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Channing1964
Oct 20 2020 06:09 AM
I think we shouldnt be in awe of Cleveland. I have said all along they aren't that great. Yes there is something positive going on but a lot of those guys like Bauer, Kluber etc werent drafted by them anyways Bauer especially was gonna be a force no matter where he ended up. He's an ace forget about his antics...Clevenger, Carrasco, remember Danny Salazar? Oh they are so great...when they play. All of those clowns are/were on the d.l more often than not. And how many championships has that got them? ZERO...THE HOOP. they blew their best chance against the Scrubs in 2016. Forget about them lets worry about what the Minnesota Twins have to do. We have a good core with Maeda, Pineda, and Berrios. Odorizzi prolly wants to come back at a reasonable rate. We lack that true Ace. im saying it first, and he wants a one year deal...its Bauer. with that rotation and the depth we have...that is the missing piece. Hill would come back with Smeltzer, Dobnak, and Thorpe waiting in the wings. I am so sick of hearing how great Cleveland is. they arent, and they never were. and know what, they never will be. the new threat is...lol South Side...it will be a very important managerial hire for them. if they are smart they they wont hire a yes man. If they change that culture they can be really Really tough. nough said for me.